American Abroad: Investing from China

1 Reply

Hello BP Community,

I am an American currently living and working in China. I have been interested in getting into REI for 5 years and have been saving up as much as possible.

I believe I have enough for a down payment on some of the properties I am interested in (~$30k on ~$100k properties) but I am in a tricky position to get a regular mortgage. Because I live in China my salary is very low (just above $1,000/month) however, I have done a lot of private tutoring that almost doubles my salary and my living expenses are EXTREMELY low, so I have been able to save most of my money. So, when applying for a loan my income will be seen as VERY low, making it seem as though I am unable to pay my monthly mortgage. For this reason I think I will get rejected from all standard mortgages.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for how to approach this situation so I do not have to wait until I can buy the house 100% cash to get started.

Any help or direction is appreciated.

Thank you,


@Evan Yale Welcome! There are a few of us expats living in China so you're in good company. I was about to ask if you are in Shanghai where I am but you said living expenses are extremely low, so I think maybe you are not here lol.

You getting a mortgage may be an issue but not impossible. I'd say it would probably be best to go in with a partner or someone you trust (family, friends, etc.) especially someone back in the USA. Normally you'll need to get pre-approved before you can even start looking at properties, so you'll know right from the beginning of what the banks will require before getting too far into looking at properties, making offers, etc.

We have a real estate group in wechat if you're interested. @Troy Williams put the group together and its really been useful. He's also in Shanghai. Feel free to DM me.